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PAPER AIRPLANES SOAR OVER GRAND PARK

Grand Park has a new landmark on the way…

Paper Airplanes by Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff

The results are in! L.A. has chosen the design to make A COOLER GRAND PARK. Soon, Paper Airplane will soar over Olive Court. Artists Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff have created a whimsical vision, inspired by both Grand Park and the Downtown landmarks that surround it. This project has been made possible by the Goldhirsh Foundation’s MyLA2050 Grants Challenge, which sought creative and innovative solutions to shape a better Los Angeles. The grant received by The Music Center will make it possible for Grand Park visitors to enhance their enjoyment and comfort by gaining much-needed UV protection, while increasing the park’s potential as the site for performances, exhibitions and festivals. Paper Airplane will be featured in the park for two years.

Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff. Photo by Javier Guillen

When Elenita and Dean first moved to Los Angeles five years ago, their love of their new city was immediately galvanized when they first discovered Grand Park. “I ended up coming here by accident,” said Torres who was instantly enamored, ”What is this place?!” When they heard about this design challenge they knew they had to throw their hats into the ring.

“I think it goes well with the architecture in the area, with Frank Gehry’s building, and it’s even a nod to the art deco architecture (of City Hall). It looks like it all belongs together,” said Dean. They have sought to synthesize DTLA’s classic past with its bright future while still complimenting the essence of Grand Park. “With the beauty of the park when everything is blooming, and all the different colors, we didn’t want to take away,” Elenita added.

Torres and Sherriff explain their design reflects the hopeful nature of Grand Park with a universal concept – the paper airplane – that appeals to all ages and is understandable no matter what language one speaks.  Like the park’s emphasis on providing free, accessible programming, the artists describe the paper airplane as free to create.
The artists chose white as the main color for the planes to provide a neutral palette that would complement the surrounding garden landscape, add an element of elegance and symbolize peace.

Of course, the function of this new structure is to provide some much-needed shade, but it also will also serve as a place for the Angelenos to gather. “It’s such a vibrant county, there’s so much movement going on, you need a park like this in the center of it to give people a sanctuary,” said Sherriff.

Paper Airplanes by Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff

With summer on the horizon, work on this project is about to get underway. And what better way to usher it in than by catching a bit of cool shade on a beautiful day in the heart of DTLA.

Thanks to Goldhirsh Foundation, the community of talented artists who submitted their beautiful designs, and all of Los Angeles for helping build a cooler future for Grand Park.

Go 4th DTLA

In preparation for tomorrow’s 4th of July Block Party, Grand Park’s Social Media Ninja, Javier Guillen, has continued the ongoing #gentedegrandpark series, asking people to share their 4th of July memories. Check it out!

come together

Photo by Javier Guillen

“I’m from Alexandria, LA (near New Orleans). After Hurricane Katrina I went back home to visit. I drove around to check out what had changed. The damage was incredible. I felt really bummed about my city, and the government’s response. I couldn’t believe this happened in the United States.

One evening, while I was there, I drove near a firework show down by the bayou. A bunch of regular folks from the local town were shooting them off. I stopped and really enjoyed the show. It was magical! There was a really special feeling in the air. I loved how the town came together for this holiday, even though there wasn’t much to be happy about. That moment gave me hope for the future of New Orleans and this country.”

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happy b-day darling!

Photo by Javier Guillen.

“Beautiful day in the park!”

“Yeah, I love this park and all the events. Can you believe we were against the park when it was being built? We didn’t want to lose our parking! But now everyone I work with loves it.”

“Do you have any cool 4th of July memories?”

“Yes, We always celebrate 4th of July in a big way at home. Actually, 4th of July falls on my wife’s birthday. It’s always been a special day for us. Now that I have daughters, they get a kick that everyone celebrates with fireworks on their mom’s birthday. They think everyone loves their mom. Now they expect fireworks on their birthdays, too!

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viva Chile!

Photo by Javier Guillen.

“Cool shirt”

“Thanks! I love the US. I always wanted to visit and now I’m here in the middle of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I won’t be here for the 4th of July, but it sounds like a big party.”

“Very cool. Where are you from?”

“I’m from Chile.”

“Awesome, How do you celebrate Chile’s Independence Day?

“We celebrate in September for two days. It’s called Fiestas Patrias. Everyone has those two days off from work and sometimes the celebration goes on for a week. Everyone in the family is in a good mood, we go to fondas and eat a lot of empanadas. Maybe one day I’ll celebrate Independence Day in the US.”

Photos and stories collected by Javier Guillen, Grand Park’s Social Media Manager.